A friend invited me to sit with him to watch one of the popular offerings on prime time television. My viewing over the years has diminished to baseball, news, and college football. Sometimes an old movie will grab my attention and I will settle down to watch and reminisce. But, today’s 1258 channels on cable don’t get me too excited.
The show we watched was not alarmingly violent, had little sexual content, kept cussing to that which 8 year-olds now use at school. But, it was bizarre in the images presented and the script. Actually, bizarre is not strong enough. It was chilling, ominous, and dark. It creeped me out. The computer generated visual effects were graphically disturbing, not something I wanted to put into my memory banks and certainly not something I would want a 10 year-old to process in his/her developing psyche.
“Trash in, trash out”. We seem to have lost as a supposedly advanced society the wisdom that what we ingest mentally is who we become as a person. Those images and that music which I allow into my brain will affect who I become as a person. I can fill that space in my head with soul-nurturing entertainment or gut-wrenching graphics. I can honor the presence of Jesus within or I can dump trash on his salvific glory. It’s a choice I have to make every minute of every day. And, being the broken piece of humanity which I am, I sometimes fall short. There are times when the best I can accomplish is damage control.
Our entertainment industry has replaced a God of joy and peaceful coexistence with its god of sex, immorality, and violence. We should not wonder why mass shootings are becoming commonplace in America. The children are learning from the movies, music, media, and politicians that the best solution to a problem involves a gun and standing up for “rights”. Even some of our churches are preaching a theology of exclusion. “You are not like me, you do not think like me, you do not look like me; therefore, you need to be eliminated.” The less violent of these misguided religionists are content with the thought that the elimination will be an eternity in hell for those who do not fit their narrow viewpoint. But, increasingly in America we see an active pursuit of legislating hatred in the name of God.
I am a child of God, I need to be careful what I see, hear, say, think, and feel.